Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Historical Brief on General Washington and Haiku

A pail of water.
Jack and Jill, up a hill..wait that’s only six…jack and jill, up a hill, ohhh.
-Andrew Dice Clay

In 1776, George Washington led his army against British General William Howe in the Battle of Long Island, which would be the first recorded campaign as the newly formed United States of America. Throughout the fall and winter of that year, Washington kept vigorous notes on warfare, personnel and his thoughts on the righteousness of what he set out to accomplish. Many of these were published in Mason Weems biography, The Virtuous Exploits of Washington. However, only recently has it been discovered, that Washington’s French liaison Tobias Lear, after returning from the Orient, turned Washington on to Haiku, which were thought to be rambling thoughts on the sides of Washington’s pages. These are currently being compiled in a memoir by Weem’s Estate.


This war rages on
The Delaware awaits us
Lest my men fear death

They call themselves men
These French are thieves in our homes
They have not earned trust

Monday, June 15, 2009

Horoscope Monday: Sarcophilus

Sarcophilus (Tasmanian Devil, Leo in Western Zodiac) has found solace in the most inexplicable of places. Usually the center of attention, you have found yourself on the margins. Take this opportunity for inward reflection, it will prove beneficial during the Harvest Moon. A spiritual guide will come to you, beware a Macropus (Kangaroo, Capricorn in Western Zodiac), they will lead you to false conclusions. The forecast looks gloomy, bring an umbrella.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Horoscope Monday

Cinereus (the Koala, Cancer in the Western Zodiac) – Playful Cinereus should learn from some missteps in the past month and a half. Remember what you have learned, because you will be faced with the same challenges as your rising sign (Anatinus- the Platypus, Gemini in the Western Zodiac) will take hold of your emotions. Let a Chital (Red Deer, Sagittarius in the Western Zodiac) guide you through these difficult times. You will be tempted to gamble this month, weigh your options carefully, choose the under.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Historical Note on Kosher Hot Dogs

"Two dogs and two warm-up cuts. That's all I needed."
- John Kruk

Oskar Katz, a recent immigrant from a small town near Prague, arrived in New York in 1890 full of high hopes of making it big in his newly-adopted country. Escaping the persecution in his native Poland was difficult, but Oskar found an even greater struggle finding a job in the alien, crowded streets of New York City. The tumultuous 1880’s were not a friendly time for immigrants to America, and jobs were often scarce, especially those that would pay a decent wage. Oskar finally found a job at a factory in the meatpacking district, breaking down the leathery carcasses of pigs, cows, and other unidentifiable hoofed animals. Excavation on similar New York City meat factories in the 1960’s turned up horses, goats, sheep, and several types of canines. Disgusted by the squalid conditions of the factory and the rank meat he produced for public consumption, not to mention the violation of his religious dietary restrictions, Oskar saved money for several years until he had enough to purchase a small building in the outskirts of Queens. There, he and his newly-emigrated cousin, a rabbi from the same small town, began the process of preparing cheap, safe meat for consumption by the growing Jewish population, and named their company “Katz Foods.” Their sausages in particular became extremely popular, especially their kosher version of the trendy hot dog that allowed these immigrants to continue to follow the laws of kashrut without having to appear to be eating “ethnic” food. Oskar passed his small company on to his family, who in the late 1940’s renamed the company “Hebrew National” in celebration of the newly-created state of Israel. Hebrew National hot dogs and meat products can still be found in grocery stores in and around New York City to this day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Historical Note on the Donut

“Ether and donuts are a deadly combination.”
-Hunter S. Thompson

Aside from the early pastries of the Amish, the modern donut (not to be confused with the doughnut) got its start in Philadelphia. In 1820 the heavily Quaker Philadelphia City Center was engaging in a general boycott of Amish goods and services. John McHugh, a Quaker and small business owner, was fond of traveling West to Pottsville for the country setting and fine Amish pastries. The sugar sprinkled baked doughnut was one of John’s favorites. John soon decided that a portable pastry would sell well in the burgeoning banking district of Chestnut Avenue. John set up shop and was unsuccessful at first selling Amish baked doughnuts. He soon revised his recipe to lighter dough and instead of baking the pastry, deep fried it. The intoxicating smell fell over Chestnut Avenue and lines started forming in front of his pastry shop. Knowing that if he advertised his pastry as a “doughnut,” anti-Amish patrons would not eat his creation. So the sign went up on his shop, “McHugh’s Do-nuts.”